Reese McGuire is the last man standing in the Drew Hutchison trade. Francisco Liriano was traded to the Astros for Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez. And Harold Ramirez left us as a free agent, signing with the Marlins. He had a good 2018 season, hitting .320/.365/.471 in his second season with the Fisher Cats. Ramirez had been a top 100 prospect before the 2016 season, getting the number 95 spot on the Baseball America list. A couple of down years dropped him off the lists, but, after his 2018 season, he might turn otu to be a good pickup for the Marlins.
Anyway. Reese was also a top 100 prospect. He was number 81 on Baseball America’s list in 2014 and number 97 the next year. He’s dropped off those lists, but he was number 25 on our top 40 Jays prospect list this year.
He is a very good defensive catcher. We saw him throw out a base stealer in yesterday’s spring game against the Yankees. He looked excellent behind the plate in the handful of games he played for us last September.
Offensively, he had a down season last year. He hit .233/.312/.339 in Buffalo.
With his glove, he doesn’t have to hit all that much to have a good long career as a backup catcher in the majors. Once he gets his backup catcher union card, I’m thinking he’ll have an MLB job for a number of years.
And any backup catcher who plays long enough will end up having, at least, a season or two as the number one catcher on his team.
I tend to think his ceiling and his floor are pretty close. His floor is a a good glove backup catcher. His ceiling is a good glove backup catcher who someone takes a liking too and decides his glove is so good that they need him for a starter’s job. Jeff Mathis is a good glove backup catcher, who has played over 80 games in three seasons. Reese could be much like him and, hopefully, hit a little better.
The Jays have a choice to make, one of McGuire or Luke Maile will be backup catcher this year, and one will spend much of the season in Buffalo. I’m thinking they will keep Maile in Toronto to be a mentor for Danny Jansen. But Maile has an option too, so he could go down.
I would think we’ll see Reese some this year. I’m sure any team looking for a backup catcher would talk to the Jays about Maile. And, if not, it is rare for for catches to make it through a season without some little nagging injury. Reese had 33 MLB plate appearances last year. I’d expect more this year.
ZiPS figures Reese would hit .227/.292/.355 if he gets to play in the majors.
Last year we asked “If the over/under on McGuire’s at bats was 30 I’d take the”. 62% took the over. Well, he had 31 at bats.
If the over/under on McGuire’s MLB PA was 95 I’d take the
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If I ran the Blue Jays Reese would start the season
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